Atlas Network is pleased to present the six finalists for the 2016 Templeton Freedom Award. The award is generously supported by Templeton Religion Trust and will be presented during Atlas Network’s Freedom Dinner on Nov. 10 in New York City at the historic Capitale. The winning organization will receive a $100,000 prize, and the five additional finalists will receive $25,000 prizes.
Here are the 2016 finalists:
Lithuanian Free Market Institute
Economics in 31 Hours Textbook
In high schools across the world, most students graduate without any exposure to the concepts of market economics. The Lithuanian Free Market Institute (LFMI), based in Vilnius, sought to change that by developing its Economics in 31 Hours textbook. Economics in 31 Hours teaches how property rights, free exchange, profit, and competition shape decision-making in everyday life. The textbook has proven to be wildly popular in its first year, and is now being used by nearly half of the country's 9th and 10th graders.
Foundation for Government Accountability
Restore the Working Class Project
Although the U.S. welfare state was enacted with the intention of helping the least fortunate, its perverse incentive structure often traps families in poverty and drains state budgets. America’s welfare state has exploded in the past decade, and the number of able-bodied adults on food stamps and Medicaid has doubled, but beginning in 2015 the Florida-based Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) designed and advocated new welfare reform policy that has achieved reform in 22 states and is helping transition 2.7 million people off welfare.
The Israel Center for Social and Economic Progress
Mevaseret Zion, Israel
Economic Reform Campaign for Israel
Despite more than 30 years of economic reforms that have helped transform Israel, its economy remains saddled with bureaucracy and regulation that make life difficult and expensive. The economic reform campaign developed by the Israel Center for Social and Economic Progress (ICSEP), based in Mevaseret Zion, has been named one of six finalists for this year’s prestigious $100,000 Templeton Freedom Award. Through its campaign, ICSEP has designed and enacted an array of successful reforms that include reducing the tax and bureaucratic burden for small businesses, breaking the banking industry’s credit card duopoly, scaling back duty fees, and liberalizing import laws so that goods and services are less expensive for families.
FIRE, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
Legislative and Policy Project
Nearly half of America’s colleges and universities maintain blatantly unconstitutional speech codes, which are the draconian and illiberal policies that administrators use to silence unpopular and inconvenient speech on campus. That’s why Philadelphia-based FIRE (the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) is fighting back with its Legislative and Policy Project.
The Centre for Justice
Litigating for Liberty Project
When government violates the individual and economic liberties of entrepreneurs in Sweden, the Stockholm-based Centre for Justice (Centrum för rättvisa) fights back by defending the dreams of these entrepreneurs in court. The organization’s Litigating for Liberty project has been named one of six finalists for this year’s prestigious $100,000 Templeton Freedom Award. The Centre for Justice has won landmark cases before the European Court of Human Rights, and has a perfect record — 14 out of 14 victories — before the Swedish Supreme Court. Its victories have required trade unions to be held liable for property damages, set precedent for government liability when it violates rights guaranteed by the Swedish Constitution, protected business owners from double jeopardy prosecutions, and more.
The Right to Try Initiative
The cruel coldness of bureaucracy is never more apparent than when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) keeps potentially life-saving drugs out of reach of terminally ill patients, even after deeming them safe. The Goldwater Institute, based in Phoenix, Ariz., is driving a new national conversation around access to treatments for the terminally ill with its Right to Try Initiative. With this initiative, the Goldwater Institute is forcing movement on policies that promote the access to a fundamental but overlooked human right: the right to save your own life.
About the Templeton Freedom Award
Awarded since 2004, the Templeton Freedom Award is named for the late investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton. The award annually honors his legacy by identifying and recognizing the most exceptional and innovative contributions to the understanding of free enterprise, and the public policies that encourage prosperity, innovation, and human fulfillment via free competition. The award is generously supported by Templeton Religion Trust and will be presented during Atlas Network’s Freedom Dinner on Nov. 10 in New York City at the historic Capitale. The winning organization will receive a $100,000 prize, and five additional finalists will receive $25,000 prizes.